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2024 Spring Symposium

By Debbie Roland and Emmy Ulmschneider, Master Gardeners

The Master Gardener Spring Symposium is finally rolling out of the planning stages and the date has been set.  Our classes for this year will be taking on a whole new look with a Spring and a Fall Symposium and four classes spread throughout the year.  Be sure and watch our website and Facebook for pop-up classes as well. 

Our Spring Symposium will be held this month, March 23, at the Midland AgriLife Extension Office.  Details are below and speaker information is as follows:

Water in the Landscape with Emmy Ulmschneider.  Water, freshwater and saltwater, has always been a major part of Emmy’s life.  Growing up around the Great Lakes, skating on frozen lakes in winter and swimming in summer, she always took water for granted. Living in Bermuda and working on a research boat in the Bahamas, taught her the true value of water and the importance of not wasting a drop.  And those lessons were not forgotten when she moved to West Texas.  Slowly, she put those lessons and lessons learned from other arid cities to work, planting the rain, and trying to live more sustainably in her urban Midland home.   Along the way, she found that she could welcome the natural beauty and native life that water on the Llano Estacado brings to a landscape.  Emmy has been a Master Gardener since 2003.

Flower Farming with Sarah Richardson:  Sara Richardson studied under Erin Benzakein in 2016 at Floret Flower Farm in the Skagit Valley, Washington State.  Then continued her studies under Lisa Mason Zigler in 2018 in Newport, Virginia.  After returning to the Permian Basin in 2018 she founded Audacious Flowers Farm where she specializes in the production of cut flowers for profit, to beautify the land and to provide a sanctuary for the local bees.  She has formed a unique flower breeding program and hosts one of the largest trail gardens for flowers in the West Texas region.  She is a third generation Permian Basin Master Gardener and has been a proud member since 2014.

Do You Know What Your Food Ate? with DeAnn Yates.  DeAnn Yates is a fourth-generation farmer and rancher. She and her husband have farmed cotton, wheat and vegetables and raised Hereford cattle in the West Texas community of Tarzan for 46 years. They, along with their children and grandchildren, have a passion for raising ethical food, fiber and cattle. They integrate regenerative practices to improve the quality of life in the farmland, pastures, cattle and crops. Their goal to improve the land and commodities they raise are generational. Their hope is to provide locally raised, ethically grown products that customers trust will help them achieve good health and regenerative energy. DeAnn likes to hear customers say, “I want to know what I am eating”. Her reply is often, “Do you know what your food ate?”

        Date:        March 23, 2024

        Time:        9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

        Cost:         $35.00 which includes lunch

        Location:   Midland AgriLife Extension Office, 2445 East Highway 80, Midland, Texas

        How to Register:    Facebook/Permian Basin Master Gardeners


We expect this class to fill up so be sure and reserve your spot!  We all look forward to seeing you.

If you have questions, call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700.   Additional information, and our blog for access to past articles, is available at  Click on “Resources”.


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